/ NEWS: The first on-sight ascent of Gaia
If something as interesting and as important as this can't be discussed on Rocktalk, what can?
UKC STAFF EDIT: NEWS: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=11&year=2008#n45439
Maybe this can be considered a second go?
Maybe the folks who posted the sort of replies that must have lead to it being pulled can reconsider this time around?
Ah. I see the content dragged it down to the Pub.
I wonder what on earth anybody might have said that was considered to be so 'wrong'? It seems to me that there's a huge mismatch between that rather huge and featureless lump of gritstone and the preciousness of some of those who may or may not want to talk about it. Odd indeed.
Right lets try again.
Fantastic ascent Alex, well done on a remarkable climb in great style.
Hip hip hooray
Cheers, deacon, at least it seems I've resurrected the thread for a while! (But maybe maybe congratulating anybody is out of order regarding such a precious piece of rock?? I haven't a clue)
well done that man!! lets hope to see more ascents from them before they fly home :0)
I suspect it was pulled as it turned into the usual - sniping drivel!
Re Gaia - really great effort there guys - keep it up!
I think I should put those links about it back:
Otherwise, given that this is an important and interesting piece of UK climbing news, I've no idea what this website's really about.
And I'll repeat what I said about it being as close to an on-sight as makes no odds; I really doubt whether watching the vid will have gained yer man any edge. A true landmak in grit history IMHO.
What you say has to be right, making it something of a landmark which no one here should be embarrassed about. (Just what is going on here??)
I suspect Chris gave you the most likely explanation above.
These guys have done so well, what a trip!
I know that, and referred to that in my original post, which has now been censored.
I said (words to the effect) that I was not interested in reading about such an important rock climbing news item in 'the pub', especially as so-called pub has nothing in common with any pub that I know of, and very little connection with the real world. I still have no idea why it was not allowed to remain in Rocktalk.
I'll email you direct as regards our policy as regards News and forum threads.
Meanwhile Gordon, try and stay on topic.
The other thread got very ludicrous towards the end. I have added my opinion to the debate on my blog. http://lifeinthevertical.blogspot.com/2008/11/gaia-onsight-or-flash.html
I think I will personally see this as the first on-sight, unless I hear he spent the last twelve months watching it twice a day on his Ipod.
It is what it is....
Why the rush to put a label on this ascent? -- I know I know......why
It's a ... haven't-been-on-it-before-seen-it-on-a-video-ground-up-flash-in-three-minutes-f*ck-me-that-was-amazing... .... type of ascent .... or something..
> I'll email you direct as regards our policy as regards News and forum threads.
> Meanwhile Gordon, try and stay on topic.
Mick, I brought this important news item back on topic. No one else did. And I suspect that a huge swathe of UKC regulars would not have known about it if I hadn't done so. (Don't fantasise that many UKC visitors who are interested in rock climbing visit 'the pub' very often.)
do you mean a flash?
rather than discussing terminology .... and this thread, that thread.... I called this first...whatever!!!!
What an amazing ascent?
What does this kind of ascent mean for the future?
Just what will tomorrow's elite climbers be doing onsight, with no gear,looking at a huge fall, and the hardest move....?
> What an amazing ascent?
> What does this kind of ascent mean for the future?
Good points well made . Alex obviously kicks arse on the Trad climbing front.
(Great to hear your enthusiasm for this achievement, but isn't it rather embarrassing that an important UKC news item like this is now going out under my name - of all people! - because of some apparent UKC moderating hang-up?)
It is amazing. I wouldn't quite say it's hugely ground breaking, as others have climbed E8, but a massive, massive achievement and I don't get how you can get in the zone to do that kind of thing. Love to meet him.
Re the future: God knows, if all these talented headpointers and wall climbers, like whittiker (sp) and Shauna Coxsey, turn their attention to onsight climbing we may just have some british super heroes as well:-)
Not all. You clearly misunderstand how the new climbing media works...
I could explain.
Darn forum heads --- the world revolves around them........
Mick, I understood it enough to bring it back on line for the masses, at least.
Is it because this is another managed Simmonite exclusive or are you talking about something else ?
from what I remember there was someone videoing the ascent.
Sorry Liam, I've no idea. I think it would be useful if UKC could tell us something, rather than us having to tell them.
I have no idea. I am as baffled as you are. It looks like a great achievement to me, that this website should be celebrating rather than trying to hide.
Thanks for pointing this out Gordon. I for one had missed any mention earlier.
Brilliant news to hear that such a classic hard grit route has now been onsighted.
No one has mentioned that the action footage in hard grit shows someone fail on the route. To my mind he onsighted this route.
As the original thread span it's way out of existance I'll say again what I said there.
Wow! Amazing achievement.
It looks like the 'best' gritstone climbers don't even live in the UK. Great!
That would be great - this thread is quickly going the same way as the other. Please remember that that should apply to you, too: you have been very quick to post your own opinions on this thread regarding the style of ascent.
Re the actual news: It is an amazing and inspirational achievement! Fantastic effort.
Only because Seb pulled him off - or at least that how it looks.
> That would be great - this thread is quickly going the same way as the other. Please remember that that should apply to you, too: you have been very quick to post your own opinions on this thread regarding the style of ascent.
anyway, a superb ascent. at last grit is being put in its place...
Fingers crossed for some better weather in the near future.
Irritating as he might be to many Franco is factually correct. It was not onsight. KJ's style was almost perfect - another stunning ascent in great style.
As KJ implied in-situ chalk beta could be equivalent to video beta or perhaps be even more helpful. This highlights, yet again, the more riduluous aspects of the onsight fetish in this day and age.
Yes, and Yes.
Well Done that fella
Wasn't it AH as opposed to KJ? ;-)
Credit where credits due an' all that!
Should have said TA to cover myself.
could you try following your own advice then Franco.
You and your silly little comments should be banned from news threads. Stop taking away from something that has only happend in the UK 4 or 5 times on grit. Be it an onsight or a flash. Who cares!
News threads which should be celebrating amazing ascents like this one almost always end up with idiots spouting crap. Sad.
As to the silly little boy trying to mar such an achievement, poppycock... It was an onsight ascent. If you walk up and touch the holds for the first time and make the moves for the first time on lead it is onsight.
As for the childish mewlings about watching a video, i once went around Nuremberg on the playstation 2..... this i feel wont put me in a position to give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money.
And to our erstwhile little scunner could i suggest you get your arse down to the local horse/bondage shop and get some blinkers to wear to the crag, I feel you may accidentaly watch someone on a route and spoil it for eternity...
> I bet he doesn't give a monkeys about the opinion of annoying untalented tos*ers like Franco.
Well said. I am sure he looses more sleep about the feeling going through his head matching that sloper on Gaia.
"Not a true onsight" were the words of the man who did the climb himself. All Franco was doing was re-iterating this statement himself, and he has congratulated him numerous times on this and the other thread. Stop giving him such a hard time.
Of course it won't, but that's because you're a crap racing driver. If you were a world championship F1 driver, then driving an accurately modelled track in a simulator would help to learn lines, apexes and braking points etc (this is something that drivers actually do, especially for a new track). Obviously it wouldn't be the same as the real thing though.
>"that sloper on Gaia"
There's a sloper? B*gger, that's that scratched from my wishlist, I'd hoped it was a crimp fest...
Forgot to say; top effort by Alex Honnold there. You have to wonder how hard trad onsighting/flashing/whatever you want to call it can get when things like this are done in such a style.
Bah, what's that Yank ever done on GRIT.
Well done to Alex - amazing climbing.
Oh, and for my money, watching 'Hard Grit' does not disqualify the onsight. The man himself is being typically humble by the sounds of things but I personally don't see the Hard Grit footage as giving any more beta than some detailed guidebook descriptions of other routes I've read.
Think about it - how many times have you read in a guide that there's "a good hidden hold on the left/right" or "there is a peg runner low down on the right - its hard to spot but IT IS THERE" or "hidden holds above the overhang can be reached by the tall" or..... you get the picture.
Printed guidebook or video - no difference to me: the guy climbed it on sight.
So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.
p.s. Franco grow up.
It is also probable that Alex had seen Lisa Rands' attempts on Gaia in Dosage 4. Seeing someone succeed on a grit route on film would certainly give one some additional mental confidence even if there is no chalk on the first attempt.
Either way this doesn't really take anything away from what is an amazing ascent.
> p.s. Franco grow up.
I suspect this ('this' being the IMHO bit) is the root of the problem. There seems to be some weird idea that any of these 'rules' are set in stone rather than merely a collection of loosely similar personal opinions. Franco et al would do well to recognise that.
I said it on the other joke of a thread and I'll say it again.... Awesome effort and one I'd happily call onsight. I personally couldn't give a toss what he's watched on tv.
> It is what it is....
> Why the rush to put a label on this ascent?
Exactly - it is what it is, which is an amazing and long overdue effort.
However, imho anyone who thinks that seeing a film of an ascent won't help at all, or might not help at all, either knows nothing about it or is kidding themselves, and that's what we choose to mean by this rather silly label 'on-sight'.
As for the 'is it a true onsight or not' argument, who cares? He's been perfectly honest about the nature of the ascent, why the need for these absolute labels? Call it onsight, call it a flash, whatever, it doesn't alter the way he climbed the route. Impressive stuff.
This is a really problematic area though, isn't it. To invent a scenario which has possibly never been realised, a seriously talented athletic youngster who has never considered engaging in rock climbing (Rich Simpson?) watches a climbing video and thinks that climbing looks a brilliant sport. A year or two later he performs the first on sight ascent of the route he previously watched on video. Are you going to say that his was not an on sight ascent?
And how do you suggest that climbers wishing to perform the first on sight ascent of a new route conduct themselves? Check into a Trappist monastery from the day after the first ascent until the day on which they attempt the route? Because if they conduct themselves otherwise it is hardly credible that they will not have heard suggestions about how to climb the route.
Ah blow it i am going to stay where i am and take up sky diving.
Agreed - there's hardly a serious climber in the world can claim an on-sight of Gaia now (as just about everyone has seen Hard Grit multiple times). And that goes for many routes.
That's about as on-sight as it's likely to get of some of these high profile rules.
(which no one is denying regardless as to what side of the on-sight debate they lie I appreciate)
> Ah blow it i am going to stay where i am and take up sky diving.
Good for you, just remember a jump doesn't count unless you've packed your parachute blindfolded.
what alex did was superb and he would still have done the route video or no vido.cant imagine him near the top thinking what he'd seen on video,he would have done what felt right.
they've only been here a few weeks,but changed grit climbing for many years to come.
well done,brill effort
So the definition of onsight should change to "leading a route, first go, without beta, unless that beta came from a video, a photograph or seeing someone on the route, unless you specifically watched that video/picture/climber on the route with the express intention of gaining beta and you can remember it very well, unless of course the route is so obvious that when you get there you decide that would have guessed that the sequence was the same as that you saw in the video, unless... etc"
> So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.
> Incredible achievement.
> Andy F
> p.s. Franco grow up.
oright then, lets not leave this thread free from crap debate. The facts of the matter are, he's seen someone do the crux. If you think seeing someone do the crux move of a route doesn't help you're deranged.
grow up? I am was the only one refraining from spouting my ill-informed oppinions. I don't see how any of this has anything to do with age. You think having beta still allows an onsight attempt. I don't. Just a simple disagreement.
> So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.
> Incredible achievement.
> Andy F
> p.s. Franco grow up.
thanks Andy, i couldn't quite encapsulate it.
I don't think I've ever come across someone as annoying as you. Are you always like this or are you just camping out on this particular thread to intentionally attempt to wind people up by repeating your opinion whilst telling others not to voice theirs?
He's only being humble by not claiming the onsight - and preventing himself being hassled by little boys like you jumping up and down and telling him how to label his amazing achievement.
Did he actually watch the film with the intention of gathering beta? I've seen the film numerous times, but I couldn't advise anyone else on how to climb the route based on what I've seen. How long ago did he see it? Why the argument without the facts?
> I don't think I've ever come across someone as annoying as you. Are you always like this or are you just camping out on this particular thread to intentionally attempt to wind people up by repeating your opinion whilst telling others not to voice theirs?
maybe. I'm not telling him how to label it, just stating the facts of what is and isnt an onsight. I hope if he bothered to read this he doesn't think i'm dissing his achievement. Amazing piece of climbing and a great improvement in not only the style the route was climbed in, but also grit onsighting. I agree the ascent was ridiculously close to onsight, but as he highlighted he'd watched someone do the crux we can't then continue to call something onsight that obviously wasn't. it's just blind opinion, changing the meaning of onsight to help our own means.
Doesn't really matter.
I last saw Hard Grit about 5-6 years ago or thereabouts. I think I also maybe saw someone else on a video of Gaia at a climbing wall or somewhere, but couldn't tell you where or when or who the video was of. I also have no real ambitions to go and do Gaia and I've certainly never watched a film of it with any intention to gain beta.
Nevertheless, I can tell you that the physical crux is leaving the low break and I could describe how to do that crux, using two possible methods. I know which one I'd be more likely to succeed on first try and therefore the method that I'd try on the flash. I could make a good guess at the size of gear that goes in the flake. I know that once established in the groove the difficulty of the climbing eases, but that it seems to be sketchy leaving the groove above to move onto the sloping rail out right. I could make a pretty good guess at how good the footholds are at that point. I know that properly belayed you wont deck from a fall at that point but may hit the lower arete. I know at the pull from the sloping shelf to the rounded aretey thing above can be done with a right heel, and so on.
Now perhaps Alex didn't know any of the above, but watching a video can give an awful lot away.
Someone said he was asking where Widdop is..........
As you know Bjorn, grit routes aren't clip ups. Nor are grit grades just a series of numbers that are easily converted to the world standard, there's something more. These hard grit routes especially the ones in the film Hard Grit have an 'aura' around them, a history and a tradition. People look at them with awe. This is part of the unquantifiable difficulty of these routes that exerts a force on UK climbers at least.
I'm sure others will offer an opinion.
And apart from that Alex Honnold is a wad, with as you know some of the hardest solos ever achieved under his belt.
If Gaia was given, say 7b+ S, maybe more climbers would dare go for the onsight or flash. I'm not sure that would be a good thing, come to think of it, especially if they don't pad up.
Its amazing with the amount of quality rock climbing that's available in the World that our little backwater of broken outcrops is receiving such global attention right now; Also congratulation to Alex for his great effort on this classic hard route as well!
Yes there is an intimidation factor, also headpointing has been the prevailing style of ascent for these routes for a long time. Most in the know have an idea of the French grade of these routes and how bold they are, so it's not just the grade, athough I'm sure very-large-E-grades have an effect.
Again, Honnold is a world class climber, bold in the extreme, which is what it takes to flash/onsight/ground-up these kind of routes - despite the relatively low French grade.
If the adj grade represents the overall "difficulty" then one could argue that this "aura" could be incorporated into the grade. On the other hand, one could argue that a genuine onsight would be by someone with no awareness of the climb beyond it being a lump of rock in Cromford etc.
> As you know Bjorn, grit routes aren't clip ups. Nor are grit grades just a series of numbers that are easily converted to the world standard, there's something more. These hard grit routes especially the ones in the film Hard Grit have an 'aura' around them, a history and a tradition. People look at them with awe. This is part of the unquantifiable difficulty of these routes that exerts a force on UK climbers at least.
For once Mick, just for once, I agree with you, not that you will be bothered of course :-)
Elsewhere on the site
A fantastically versatile little pack; whether out running in the hills, hitting the trails on the bike or just running for the... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more